After a full day of racing the CAC2, I was hoping that Team Virtus would be too tired. Kate even texted me that she was suffering from some chafing and might not be up for riding the infamous "Cock Gobbler" on Sunday. So when I got up Sunday morning, I decided if she bailed that I might bail too. But no, she put on her big girl panties (and plenty of chamois butter) and said it was a "go". That they were meeting at Mokane, MO at 9-ish (ie. Team Virtus time). I assumed that 9-ish was give or take 10 min. But I got to the parking lot at the trailhead at 8:50 and called her to make sure I was in the right spot and they hadn't left Holts Summit which was a solid 25-30 min away. Hmm...things to remember for future reference.
But some of their other Facebook friends were there and we started introducing ourselves and getting ready. I didn't have a lot to do, but I did spray on some sunscreen (foreshadowing) and got my bike off my rack and put my bottle in it, etc. When Luke, Adam and Kate finally rolled in (I just tease - it was a gorgeous morning and really no biggie) - Luke didn't even have his saddle bolted to his bike from some previous day's lending at the non-race. So he did his mechanical duty while we finished getting ready. I got to give Kate her birthday gift which she was thrilled with (score - a book about riding the Great Divide race). And finally, closing in on 10 AM, we rolled out.
Sure enough, I was dropped as soon as we hit the gravel. I cranked along and tried not to be annoyed at how slow I am. They waited at the tops of hills and major turns. The front of the group ended up dropping Adam, Luke and Kate as they waited for me about 6.5 miles in. They decided to help me get through the ride - God bless them. And we continued to crank away. We stopped at the top of one hill for a spot of shade and to snap a couple quick pics.
|Team Virtus with "Invisi-Bob" Jenkins (Luke, Adam and Kate)|
|Luke said he wanted to show the pretty scenery. Slowly greening up around here, |
and this pic doesn't do the scenery justice.
I continued along and occassionally one of them would ride slow enough to chat. Kate asked about my duathlon and there wasn't much to tell other that commisserating about the wind from Saturday (that was thankfully not nearly as present on Sunday). I told Kate that I get frustrated that I might always be this sucktastic. I'm not 100% sure what I need to do (or if I have the will to do what it takes) to get significantly better. But I still ended up watching the three of them riding together a fair ways in front of me a lot of the time. Luke was always good about checking that I was ok and getting enough to drink in the heat every time we stopped for a minute. I just tried to smile and pretend like this was a good time. It actually was ok because I was with them, but there was a lot of less fun moments (including some hill hiking and way too many dogs chasing us to count).
Before we knew it, we arrived at Hamm's Prairie gas station. This is a wide spot on a country road that apparently has the best hard salami sandwiches. It was about 25 miles in and Luke was jonesing for a sammy. Supposedly, the other bike group was almost an hour ahead of us at this point. Ugh - so sorry guys for being your boat anchor! And sorry that they were out of salami! There were rampant jokes being texted back and forth about the other group chucking it into the trash after using the salami for chamois cream or eating it all. I had a little slim jim and more gatorade. I was smarter this time and filled up the empty gatorade bottle with water and stuck it in my back jersey pocket.
|Team Virtus at Hamm's Prairie: Kate with her pulled pork sandwich, Adam in a turkey sandwich coma and |
Luke sad that he was eating candy instead of hard salami.
And after a blissful mile or two on pavement, there was more gravel. And then we went by the nuke plant which makes for another round of photos.
|Kate and I by Callaway Nuclear Plant|
|Thought I needed to be further away to get it all in, but now realizing I didn't. |
This is the group waiting for me - a common site on any ride I do with them.
|Just a little self portait down the road.|
It is almost all downhill from here - though still a lot more gravel. Then we hit a handful of miles on the Katy Trail with some more fun pictures. We also picked up Jim who was adding some flat Katy miles to the end of the full route he'd already finished with the fast folks.
|I thought it was funny that Team Virtus stops to take pics of dead things - this time an armadillo.|
|"Hey Bob, that grassy spot up there would be an awesome checkpoint for Cedar Cross"|
|Kate is so talented she can take pics while riding her bike! (Stolen from Superkate)|
|Big ass rock on Katy Trail|
At the end of the day, it was a tough ride. I was feeling it everywhere. I got home, showered quickly and headed back out for my nephew's birthday party. Found one little spot on my arm where I had missed spraying sunscreen (oops). I ate pizza at the party like there was no tomorrow. Bad idea as between the stomach ache and the rest of me aching, it was a rough night of sleep (and lack thereof) followed by a super busy day of work.
|Kids and their cousins at the park for youngest's 8th birthday |
(my daughter is in orange tank and son has arms folded in defiance to having pic taken)
|What kids do when told they can do a silly pose if they'll just stand still for a "nice" pic.|
|Even if it isn't so bad to look at on a sunny day with your friends in the distance. (Stolen from Superkate)|